This month, the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN) is mobilizing military spouses globally to “Storm the Hill” (as in Capitol Hill). Their message? Congress must take action to reduce employment barriers faced by the husbands and wives of America’s soldiers.
In a landmark Whitepaper entitled “Military Spouse Employment: 5 Recommendations for Removing Barriers to Entrepreneurship,” author David Chrisinger addresses the employment challenges faced by active duty families. As their military assignments change, these dedicated Americans relocate their families every two or three years — often overseas. Non-enlisted spouses repeatedly struggle to match their education and skills with new employers.
How Can They Help?
One of the Recommendations supported by the Network is to expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (aka WOTC) to include military spouses. The WOTC program rewards employers when they hire members of the program’s “target groups”. Under the proposed change, employers could earn a tax credit of $2,400 or more when they hire the husband or wife of a soldier.
Military spouses are some of the most resourceful, dedicated, strong willed people on the planet. They wait, hope, support, encourage and make do like few will ever know unless they too have lived the military life. They move, pack and unpack like professionals. They network, adapt and learn to navigate a world of separation, bureaucracy, and uncertainty while raising well-adjusted, patriotic families.
As they storm Capitol Hill this month, we hope our elected officials will pay attention and actually hear what they are saying. We hope they are successful. As a nation, we need the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and other effective measures to help magnify military-spouse employment and entrepreneurship. It would represent only the smallest fraction of what we owe them as they support and defend each of us and a grateful nation.